Bellator plans 3 events for Oklahoma's WinStar Casino
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When Bellator heads to Thackerville, Okla., in January for its second event on Spike, it will be the first of three shows it produces in 2013 at WinStar World Casino.
The promotion recently announced a partnership with the casino to host Bellator 86, as well as two additional shows next year.
Bellator 86 takes place Jan. 24 and is the promotion's second show of its eight season, which shifts from MTV2 main-card broadcasts to a new home on Spike TV. The card will feature a welterweight title fight between champion Ben Askren and top contender Karl Amoussou, a pair of opening-round welterweight tournament fights and the Bellator debut of Muhammaed "King Mo" Lawal in a light heavyweight tournament fight against Przemyslaw Mysiala.
Lawal wrestled collegiately at the University of Central Oklahoma before moving on to wrestling powerhouse Oklahoma State. It will be his first time fighting in Oklahoma.
The WinStar World Casino, two hours south of Oklahoma City and 90 minutes north of Dallas, is owned by the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma and its casino floor is one of the largest in the world. For Bellator's purposes, events will take place inside the Global Event Center, which seats more than 3,000 people and has played host to the likes of Kid Rock, Weezer, Maroon 5 and Lil' Wayne.
"We constantly strive to expand our entertainment offerings and national exposure through strategic partnerships," Michael McEwan, WinStar World Casino's assistant general manager, stated. "We anticipate patrons will be impressed with the level of fights Bellator MMA will bring to WinStar World Casino."
Frequent returns to the same venue is no change of pace for Bellator. In 2012, it visited Caesars Atlantic City in New Jersey and Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Ind., three times each.
Like all events in its 12-show eighth season, Bellator 86 will have a main card airing live on Spike at 10 p.m. ET following a two-hour lead-in from TNA Impact wrestling – where Lawal moonlights as a professional wrestler. Season 8 prelims will stream live at Spike.com.
The Bellator 86 card includes:
Champ Ben Askren vs. Karl Amoussou - for welterweight title
Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal vs. Przemyslaw Mysiala - light-heavyweight-tournament opening round
Ben Saunders vs. TBA - welterweight-tournament opening round
Douglas Lima vs. TBA - welterweight-tournament opening round
Sig Credit: M.C
Urijah Faber - Dustin Poirier - Frankie Edgar - Demian Maia - Miesha Tate - Tecia Torres - Jessica Eye